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Excavations A Novel


Excavations A Novel

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 07/11/2023
  • Publisher: One World

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A tragic disappearance and suspicious cover-up lead a desperate mother down a rabbit-hole of government corruption and explosive generational secrets.

Sae is waiting with two clingy toddlers for her husband to come home from work when she learns of a horrific disaster, the collapse of a massive skyscraper where Jae is an engineer. Minutes, then hours, and then days pass. Speculations of North Korean terrorism and structural instability circulate as possible causes of the Tower’s collapse. No one has seen Jae, but things aren’t adding up. Jae had told Sae he was working on a swimming pool on the top floor, but reports showed he was in the basement, on a different project. Sae—who met Jae when they were students at an anti-government protest and has relied on him as her guiding and steadying hand—is troubled and suspicious.

Leaving the children with her estranged mother, Sae sets out to uncover the truth of what happened to her husband. Her investigation takes her to an upscale club where the proprietor, Myonghee, is not merely supplying booze and girls but also seeking information, for her own purposes, from every drunken businessman who lets corporate secrets slip. As Sae begins to find what she sought, she must ask herself: how well can you truly know the one you love and how is truth shaped by power?

·   At a time when Korean history and culture occupy a place of fascination in the American imagination, Excavations shines a unique spotlight on Korea from a creative writing teacher and professor of Korean pop culture at UC-Berkeley.
·   This story is loosely based off the devastating 1995 Sampoong department store collapse in Seoul, South Korea, due to structural failure.
·   Excavations is Hannah Michell’s US debut. She published The Defections in the UK and France in 2014. In a review for the book, The Guardian said, “Michell reveals herself not only as a perceptive observer of character, but a writer capable of exploring big ideas.”

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